Local Government Act Review

In 2017 the McGowan Government announced a review of the Local Government Act 1995.

A montage of images with the words, Local Government Act Review: Delivering for the Community
Local Government Act Review logo

In 2017 the McGowan Government announced a review of the Local Government Act 1995. This is the first significant reform of local government conducted in more than two decades. The objective is for Western Australia to have a new, modern Act that empowers local governments to better deliver for the community. Our vision is for local governments to be agile, smart and inclusive.

Narrogin Town Hall

About

Find out about the review of the Local Government Act 1995 review and how it is being conducted.

Albany wind farm

Timeline

Our timeline will let you know where we are at in the process, and what is still to come.

About the Local Government Act Review

Currently, the Local Government Act 1995 establishes the system of local government in Western Australia. It covers a wide range of features of local government and describes:

  • the functions of local government
  • the election of councillors
  • the roles of the council and local government administration
  • the framework for the administration and financial management of local government.  

In 2017, the McGowan Government announced a review of the Local Government Act. The review is being undertaken by the department.

The intention of the review is to identify areas of reform that either:

  • should be introduced as a priority into the current Local Government Act; or  
  • should be incorporated into a new Local Government Act.

How the review is being conducted

Given the breadth of matters covered by the Local Government Act, a staged approach to the review has been adopted:

  • Stage one: Priority reforms.
  • Stage two: Additional reforms.

The following process has been undertaken in both stage one and stage two of the review:

  1. Topic identification: identification of topics within the Act that should be reviewed.
  2. Community consultation: seeking feedback from the community and key stakeholders on the key topics under review.
  3. Analysis of submissions: compiling and analysing the feedback from community and key stakeholders.
  4. Consideration and decision by Government: a decision by Government as to whether the Act needs to be amended and how it should be amended.
  5. Changing the Act: amending the Act to reflect decisions of Government. Changes to the Act are being progressed either: 
  • immediately as a priority (please refer to the Reforms Introduced page for more information); or
  • when an entirely new Local Government Act is drafted (information on the new Act is available below).

Local Government Act Review Reference Group

In 2017, the department formed a reference group of key industry stakeholders to provide feedback and advice on:

  • topics to be reviewed
  • materials prepared for consultation
  • the analysis of the community’s feedback.

The Reference Group has met throughout the process to provide invaluable insights and guidance.

A new Local Government Act

It is intended that a new Local Government Act will be drafted to incorporate new features identified in the review.

Work on a new Local Government Act will be undertaken by the department.

The process for developing a new Local Government Act is as follows:

  1. Policy development: identification of what will be included in the new Act, including incorporating reforms identified in the review.
  2. Approval of Government to draft a new Act.
  3. Consultation with the community on the draft of the new Act (the Green Bill).
  4. Analysis of feedback.
  5. Decision by Government to adopt the new Act.
  6. Introduction of the new Act.

Local Government Review Panel

A panel of experts has been formed to progress the development of a new Local Government Act for Western Australia. 

The Local Government Review Panel will consider and recommend high-level direction and guiding principles for the new Act.

The panel will continue to engage with the sector, community and stakeholders, and make recommendations on the requirements of a new Local Government Act to meet the future needs of local government. 

The panel will look at best practice models in Australia and overseas as well as feedback from the recent consultation on WA's Local Government Act 1995.

Timeline of the Local Government Act Review  

  • July 2017 State Government makes an election commitment to review the LG Act 1995.
  • November 2017 Consultation on priority reforms begins.
  • August 2018 Policy positions for priority reforms are announced.
  • September 2018 Consultation on second stage of reforms begins.
  • March 2019 Priority reforms are introduced to Parliament. Consultation on second stage reforms close.
  • March 2019 Submissions to the second stage closed on 31 March 2019 and are now being reviewed.
  • June 2019 Local Government Legislation Amendment Act 2019 passed.

Journey towards a new Local Government Act. Timeline shown that is decribed in the list directly below this image.

About the reforms

    • Candidate induction (in place)
    • Universal training for council members (in place)
    • Council member code of conduct (out for consultation)
    • Improvements to CEO recruitment and performance review (out for consultation)
    • New gift framework (in place)
    • Changes to the Standards Panel (in place)
    • Greater transparency easier access to information (partly in place)

Read the policy positions on the priority reforms

The next stage will result in a new Local Government Act and focuses on delivering for the community based on the themes Agile, Smart and Inclusive. It considers nine key topic areas as outlined in the table below and local governments and community members are currently invited to have a say on some or all of the reform areas.

Agile

Agile includes topics that focus specifically on how local governments can best use their resources to adapt to changing conditions. It is important that they can strike a balance between community expectations, the practical limitations of revenue and expenditure and external pressures.

Smart

Smart includes topics that focus specifically on enabling local governments to better meet the needs and expectations of their communities through being transparent and accountable.

Inclusive

Inclusive focuses specifically on local governments representing and involving their communities in decision-making. As the tier of government closest to the community, there is an expectation that local governments represent the whole community, recognise diversity within their district and are responsive to community needs.

Consultation on proposed Code of Conduct and CEO Standards

On 27 June 2019, the Local Government Legislation Amendment Act 2019 was passed in Parliament. The Act includes a requirement for the introduction of:

  • a mandatory code of conduct for council members, committee members and candidates (Code of Conduct); and
  • mandatory minimum standards covering the recruitment, selection, performance review and early termination of local government Chief Executive Officers (CEO Standards).

The department is seeking feedback on the draft Code of Conduct and draft CEO Standards and accompanying guidelines. 

Feedback can be provided via the completion of the online surveys or by sending written submissions to the department at actreview@dlgsc.wa.gov.au. Submissions close on 6 December 2019.

Priority reforms

On 27 June 2019, the Local Government Legislation Amendment Act 2019 was passed by Parliament.

Reform areas

Between September 2018 and March 2019, the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries held consultation sessions in every region, issued surveys on potential reforms, and invited written submissions. 

Consultation closed on 31 March 2019. More than 3,000 survey responses and written submissions were received from community members, ratepayer associations, industry groups, local governments, councillors, and peak bodies.

The department also consulted with more than 100 organisations and community groups including multicultural groups, young people, Aboriginal groups and seniors.

Summary papers which outline what we heard from the consultation are now available. The contribution of community members, local governments and others who have supported the process to date will provide valuable input to the Local Government Review Panel and help transform local government in Western Australia.

The following reports provide an overview of the findings from the consultation:

A report on the findings for each topic is available by clicking on the topics below. 

Survey and postcard responses

Responses

The public submission period closed on 31 March 2019 with more than 3000 responses received. 

The department acknowledges and thanks all who have provided submissions to the review.

All submissions received are being considered.

Consultation to date

The department has consulted with more than 100 organisations and community groups across the State including local government staff, peak bodies, multicultural groups, young people, Aboriginal groups and seniors. Below is a list of all the consultation locations and groups for the current phase of the reforms.

Consultation locations and groups for the current phase of the reforms
Region Date Type Event Location
Metropolitan Perth8 October 2018Peak body​​Minister for Youth Advisory CommitteePerth
Gascoyne10 October 2018Local governmentG​ascoyne Country Zone MeetingCarnarvon
Gascoyne10 October 2018CommunityCommunity StallCarnarvon
Gascoyne10 October 2018CommunityCommunity Drop-in SessionCarnarvon
Gascoyne11 October 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Staff WorkshopCarnarvon
Wheatbelt10 October 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Staff WorkshopBrookton
Wheatbelt10 October 2018CommunityCommunity Drop-in SessionNarrogin
Wheatbelt11 October 2018Local GovernmentCentral Country Zone MeetingNarrogin
Metropolitan Perth16 October 2018Local GovernmentCentral Metropolitan Perth ZoneCottesloe
Mid West17 October 2018CommunityCommunity Drop-in SessionGreater Geraldton
Mid West18 October 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Staff WorkshopGreater Geraldton
Mid West18 October 2018CommunityCommunity Drop-in SessionIrwin
Mid West22 October 2018Local GovernmentNorthern Country Zone MeetingGreater Geraldton
Great Southern18 October 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Staff WorkshopKatanning
Great Southern18 October 2018CommunityCommunity Drop-in SessionKatanning
Great Southern19 October 2018Local GovernmentGreat Southern Country Zone MeetingCranbrook
Metropolitan Perth19 October 2018CommunitySeniors Recreation CouncilLeederville
Wheatbelt23 October 2018CommunityCommunity Drop-in SessionMerredin
Wheatbelt24 October 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Staff WorkshopBruce Rock
Wheatbelt24 October 2018Local GovernmentGreat Eastern Country Zone MeetingMerredin
Metropolitan Perth24 October 2018Local GovernmentSouth East Metropolitan Perth Zone MeetingVictoria Park
Metropolitan Perth25 October 2018Local GovernmentEast Metropolitan Perth Zone MeetingMundaring
Wheatbelt25 October 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Staff WorkshopGingin
Wheatbelt25 October 2018CommunityCommunity Drop-in SessionGingin
Wheatbelt26 October 2018Local GovernmentAvon-Midland Country Zone MeetingMoora
Metropolitan Perth29 October 2018Local GovernmentLocal GovernmentPro Meeting - ACROD ParkingGuilford
Metropolitan Perth29 October 2018Local GovernmentSouth Metropolitan Perth Zone MeetingCockburn
Kimberley29 October 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Staff WorkshopKununnarra
Kimberley29 October 2018Local GovernmentEast Kimberley Zone MeetingKununurra
Kimberley29 October 2018CommunityCommunity ForumKununurra
Kimberley30 October 2018CommunityCommunity StallKununnarra
Wheatbelt30 October 2018Local GovernmentCentral Country Zone Working GroupWickepin
Mid West31 October 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Staff WorkshopMeekatharra
Mid West31 October 2018CommunityCommunity Drop-in SessionMeekatharra
Mid West1 November 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Staff WorkshopMount Magnet
Mid West1 November 2018Local GovernmentMurchison Country Zone MeetingCue
Mid West2 November 2018CommunityAboriginal Consultation (Meekatharra Reference Group)Meekatharra
South West1 November 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Staff WorkshopBunbury
South West1 November 2018CommunityCommunity ForumBunbury
South West2 November 2018Local GovernmentSouth West Country Zone MeetingBusselton
Goldfields1 November 2018Local GovernmentGoldfields Esperance Zone MeetingKaLocal Governmentoorlie
Goldfields1 November 2018CommunityCommunity Drop-in SessionKaLocal Governmentoorlie
Goldfields2 November 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Staff WorkshopKaLocal Governmentoorlie
Kimberley5 November 2018Local GovernmentWest Kimberley Zone MeetingBroome
Kimberley5 November 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Staff WorkshopBroome
Kimberley5 November 2018CommunityCommunity ForumBroome
Peel5 November 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Staff WorkshopPinjarra
Peel5 November 2018Local GovernmentPeel Zone MeetingPinjarra
Metropolitan Perth7 November 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Pro Annual State ConferenceVictoria Park
Metropolitan Perth12 November 2018Local GovernmentPerth Eastern Region MeetingBassendean
Metropolitan Perth12 November 2018State GovernmentOffice of Multicultural InterestsPerth
Pilbara13 November 2018Local GovernmentPilbara (West) Zone MeetingHedland
Pilbara13 November 2018CommunityCommunity ForumHedland
Pilbara14 November 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Staff WorkshopHedland
Pilbara14 November 2018CommunityCommunity Drop-in SessionNewman
Pilbara15 November 2018Local GovernmentPilbara (East) Zone MeetingNewman
Pilbara15 November 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Staff WorkshopNewman
Metropolitan Perth14 November 2018Local Government - StaffRates Officers' Group MeetingBelmont
Metropolitan Perth15 November 2018Local Government - StaffCommunity Development Network MeetingMaylands
Metropolitan Perth15 November 2018Local GovernmentRegional Capital AlliancePerth
Metropolitan Perth15 November 2018Peak bodyCCIWA - Economic Development ForumPerth
Metropolitan Perth15 November 2018Local GovernmentNorth Metropolitan Perth Zone MeetingWanneroo
Metropolitan Perth16 November 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Pro Governance Network MeetingPerth
Metropolitan Perth19 November 2018State GovernmentOAG BriefingPerth
Metropolitan Perth20 November 2018CommunityCommunity Super ForumPerth
Metropolitan Perth21 November 2018Peak bodyUDIASubiaco
Metropolitan Perth21 November 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Staff WorkshopKwinana
Metropolitan Perth21 November 2018CommunityCommunity ForumKwinana
Metropolitan Perth22 November 2018Peak bodyTransforming Local Government & Community HousingLeederville
Metropolitan​​ Perth22 November 2018State GovernmentTargeted Departmental WorkshopLeederville
Metropolitan Perth23 November 2018Local Government - StaffIT Vision User GroupKalamunda
Metropolitan Perth26 November 2018CommunityCommunity ForumJoondalup
Metropolitan Perth27 November 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Staff WorkshopNedlands
Metropolitan Perth27 November 2018CommunityCommunity Super Drop-in SessionLeederville
Metropolitan Perth27 November 2018Peak bodyWA Sports Federation Board MeetingFloreat
Metropolitan Perth28 November 2018Local Government - StaffIAP2 Community Engagement Netwotk meetingLeederville
Metropolitan Perth28 November 2018CommunityCommunity ForumMelville
Great Southern28 November 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Staff WorkshopAlbany
Great Southern28 November 2018CommunityCommunity ForumAlbany
Great Southern29 November 2018Local GovernmentGreat Southern Regional Advisory GroupTambellup
Metropolitan Perth3 December 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Staff WorkshopStirling
Goldfields3 December 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Staff WorkshopEsperence
Goldfields3 December 2018CommunityCommunity Drop-in SessionEsperence
Goldfields4 December 2018Local GovernmentLocal Government Elected Member WorkshopEsperence
Metropolitan Perth4 December 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Staff WorkshopMundaring
Metropolitan Perth4 December 2018CommunityCommunity ForumMundaring
Metropolitan Perth5 December 2018State GovernmentDepartmental Staff WorkshopPerth
Metropolitan Perth5 December 2018OtherCity of Perth InquiryPerth
Metropolitan Perth10 December 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Staff WorkshopBayswater
Metropolitan Perth10 December 2018Local Government - StaffLocal Government Staff WorkshopGosnells
Metropolitan Perth10 December 2018Local Government - StaffWA Rangers Association Leederville
Peel11 December 2018Local Government - StaffSouth West Rangers AssociationEaton
Metropolitan Perth12 December 2018State GovernmentInteragency Working Group MeetingLeederville
Metropolitan Perth12 December 2018Local Government - StaffWA Rangers Association Bassendean
Metropolitan Perth22 January 2019Peak bodyMulticultural Advisory GroupPerth
Metropolitan Perth24 January 2019Local Government - StaffShire of Serpentine Jarrahdale Governance ForumMundijong
Metropolitan Perth30 Janurary 2019Local GovernmentFuture of local government forumBentley
Goldfields1 February 2019Local GovernmentGoldfields Voluntary Region of CouncilsEsperence
Wheatbelt6 February 2019Local GovernmentCentral Country Zone Cuballing
Metropolitan Perth6 February 2019Local Government - StaffLocal Government Youth Development Officers NetworkSubiaco
Metropolitan Perth19 February 2019Local Government - StaffCommunity Engagement NetworkSouth Perth
Metropolitan Perth21 February 2019Peak bodyWA Peaks ForumPerth
Peel21 February 2019Local Government - StaffLocal Government Pro Peel Branch Professional Development DayMandurah
South West27 February 2019CommunityYouth Advisory Council - BunburyBunbury
Metropolitan Perth28 February 2019CommunityUniversity of Western Australia (staff and post-grad students)UWA
Metropolitan Perth6 March 2019Peak bodyCommittee for PerthPerth
Metropolitan Perth15 March 2019Local Government - StaffLocal Government Pro Financial Professionals ConferenceVictoria Park
Metropolitan Perth20 March 2019Local Government - StaffLocal Government Governance OfficersCity of Vincent

​More information

Email actreview@dlgsc.wa.gov.au

Page reviewed 25 June 2019